Background Briefing: December 18, 2022


3 Criminal Referrals of Trump From the Jan. 6 Committee to the DOJ Expected on Monday

We begin with the expectation that the House January 6 committee on Monday will vote to send criminal referrals to the DOJ urging the AG to charge Trump under 18 U.S.C. 2383 for insurrection, 18 U.S.C. 1512(c) for obstruction of justice and 18 U.S.C. 371 for conspiracy to defraud the United States government. Joining us to discuss these charges and others likely to be referred against the White House insurrection lawyer John Eastman is James Zirin, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and the host of the critically acclaimed television talk show, Conversations with Jim Zirin, which airs on PBS. He is the author of Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court and Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3500 Lawsuits. He is a contributing editor at The Washington Monthly and we discuss his latest article, “What Will the Manhattan DA Do Next with Trump?


The Decades-Long Far-Right Capture of the Supreme Court

Then we look into how after the nomination of Robert Bork was blocked, a few far-right religious zealots raised enormous sums of dark money from anonymous plutocrats in a decades-long project to capture the supreme court. Joining us is Linda Greenhouse, a Lecturer in Law and a Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School. She covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times between 1978 and 2008 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1998 and the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism from Harvard University’s Kennedy School in 2004. Her books include Before Roe v. Wade: Voices That Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right, and most recently, Justice on the Brink: The Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Rise of Amy Coney Barrett, and Twelve Months that Transformed the Supreme Court. We discuss her article at The Atlantic, “What in the World Happened to the Supreme Court?”


How Long Can We Endure the Curse of the Manchild With Musk’s Trolling and Trump’s Grifting?

Then finally we explore the curse of the man-child and what it will take to be able to ignore the two attention seeking narcissists Musk and Trump who dominate the headlines with infantile trolling and tacky grifting. Joining us is David Roth, who has written about sports, politics, and culture in Deadspin, The New Republic, SB Nation, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, and other publications. He is the co-founder of Defector Media where his latest articles are ““Major Announcement” From Donald Trump Turns Out To Be NFTs Of His Head Photoshopped Onto A Skinny Man In A Tuxedo” and “The Eternal Mystery Of A Rich Man’s Politics.”